10 Best Credit Cards for Points

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While bonuses are always a big factor when choosing a new credit card, you should also think about the long-term ability of the card to earn and redeem points. There are many things you should consider when determining the value of a card. Credit card promotions and rewards are always changing too, so stay in the know by being up to date on the best credit cards for points that 2018 has to offer.

Best Credit Cards for Travel Points

The Platinum Card from American Express is a top pick among avid travelers looking for the best credit cards for travel points. This card has a 60,000-point sign-up bonus and so many perks and benefits it is a must-have if you travel a lot. Don’t let the $550 annual fee dissuade you, either. That money is easily recouped through all the perks this card offers.

American Express® Platinum Card®

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Rewards Program
Membership Rewards®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 5x Points on Airfare and Hotels
  • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
  • + Complimentary access to Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and Priority Pass Select lounges
  • + Gold elite status with Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton Honors
  • 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • $200 in annual Uber credits
  • $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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To start with, this card comes with a $200 airline credit to cover incidentals, such as in-flight purchases, change fees and the ever-important bag fees. It also has a $200 annual Uber credit to help you get home from the airport.

Perhaps best of all, it comes with free airport lounge access. But that’s not just any lounge. You’ll be able to get into American Express’s super-swanky Centurion Lounges, plus Delta lounges if you’re flying on Delta. And if those aren’t available, you can always rely on the handy Priority Pass Select membership that comes with the card. It gives you access to over 1,000 lounges around the world.

The Platinum card also includes a rebate for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and gives you complimentary Hilton Honors and SPG Gold status. You’re sure to be traveling in luxury with this card.

The Amex Platinum card earns 5x points on eligible airline and hotel purchases and one point per dollar for everything else. And those credit card reward points are flexible. The Membership Rewards program allows you to transfer points to 20 airlines and hotel partners, which can potentially further increase the value of those points.

A More Affordable Alternative

For a lot less money ($95 a year) you could also get the excellent Citi ThankYou Premier card. It comes with a great sign-up bonus of 50,000 points and provides versatility when it comes to redemptions, making it one of the best credit cards for points.

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
16.24% to 25.24% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
Rewards Program
ThankYou®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3x Points on Travel, including Gas, Airfare, Hotels, Cruises, Car Rentals and More
  • 2x Points on Dining and Entertainment
  • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
  • 60,000 bonus points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • 25% bonus when points are redeemed through the ThankYou Travel Center
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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Earning with this card is great for those on the move as you can get three points per dollar spent on travel. This includes things like airfare and hotels, but also ridesharing, public transportation, tolls and even gas. You’ll also get double points for dining out and entertainment.

You can use your points to book travel directly through Citi’s airline and hotel partners, or using the Citi travel portal.

Best Credit Cards for Airline Miles

The British Airways Visa Signature is one of my favorite airline cards for domestic air travel. Not only can you earn 100,000 Avios when you sign up, but it also has great redemption options, particularly for short-haul flights in the U.S. After spending $3,000 you will receive 50,000 Avios. You can earn an additional 25,000 Avios if you spend $10,000 and another 25,000 if you spend $20,000 in purchases the first year.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% to 24.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$95
Rewards Program
Executive Club
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3x Miles on British Airways
  • 1x Miles on Dining
  • 1x Miles on Gas
  • 1x Miles on All Other Purchases
  • 50,000 Avios after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 on purchases within your first year
  • 25,000 more Avios if you spend a total of $20,000 during your first year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • + Lost Luggage Reimbursement
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Even if you don’t spend $20,000 on this card, the initial bonus of 50,000 Avios is enough to snag a domestic business class award ticket on American or even an off-peak Aer Lingus flight to Europe. Last year I booked a ticket to Ireland on Aer Lingus for just 20,000 Avios! Not to mention, if you were to spend $30,000 in a year you could also receive a travel together ticket for a companion.

Another Option for a Companion Pass

If British Airways isn’t your thing, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature is also a great choice for domestic travel. It offers 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000. That’s enough for a domestic roundtrip, including Alaska. You’ll also get a free checked bag for you and up to six companions on any Alaska or Virgin America flight.

Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
16.74% to 24.74% Variable±
Annual Fee
$75
Rewards Program
Mileage Plan™
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 5x Miles on Purchases made through Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining
  • 3x Miles on Alaska Airlines Purchases
  • 1x Miles on Gas
  • 1x Miles on All Other Purchases
  • 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days
  • Free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to 6 other passengers on the same reservation
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • $ $121 companion fare
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READ MORE: Alaska Airlines Credit Cards: Everything You Need to Know

The best part of this card, though, is the companion pass. The first year you have the card, you’ll be able to take a companion with you on one round-trip flight for just the cost of taxes and fees. Every year after that, you can bring a friend or family member along with you for just $100 plus taxes and fees. That benefit alone could easily save you hundreds of dollars a year!

Best Business Credit Cards for Points

The Business Gold Card from American Express Open is among my top picks for the best business credit cards for points not only because of its bonus, which is 50,000 points, but also because of its great earning potential.

Business Gold Rewards Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $175
Rewards Program
Membership Rewards®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3x Points on one of the following: Airfare, Gas, Shipping, Advertising or Computer Hardware and Software
  • 2x Points on the remaining four categories
  • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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This card allows members to earn 3x points on one of five categories of their choosing that includes airfare, advertising, gas, shipping or computer needs. If you max out the category to its $100,000 spending limit, you’ll end up with a phenomenal 300,000 points. The remaining four categories earn 2x points.

This card is also part of the Membership Rewards program, which has 20 airline and hotel partners. When redeeming for airfare through Amex Travel, you can increase the value of each point to 1.54 cents.

Get 2% Back on All Purchases

The Capital One Spark Business credit card is a good choice if you are interested in a more straightforward approach to earning and redeeming. These cards come in both miles-earning and a cashback versions. With either card, you can redeem the points you earn for statement credits.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
18.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Rewards Program
Capital One® Cash Back Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • % Earning unlimited 2% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Use Spark Cash across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • + Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend
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Capital One® Spark® Miles Business Credit Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
18.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Rewards Program
Venture® Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2x Earn 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, every day
  • Plus, a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • There's no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
  • + Redeem miles for travel, cash back, gift cards and more
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You’ll get 50,000 bonus points or miles with either the Capital One Spark Cash for Business or Capital One Spark Miles for Business. Both cards have a 2 percent fixed value reward rate.

READ MORE: The Best 2 Percent Cashback Credit Cards

This means that you’ll get the same 2 percent cash back or two miles per point no matter what you buy. In either case, you’ll essentially be getting two cents back for every dollar you spend.

Best Credit Card for Gas Points

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature card may be one you haven’t heard of before, but if you are serious about gas rewards, it is worth checking out. Its gas-earning potential alone makes it one of the best credit cards for points.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
0% Intro APR for the first 12 months on transfers made between April 1, 2018 and September 30, 2018
Regular APR
11.24% to 17.99% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 5x Points on Gas
  • 3x Points on Groceries
  • 1x Points on All Other Purchases
  • $100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days
  • EMV chip-enabled for added security
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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This card boasts 5X points on gas. It’s like saving 5 percent on all of your gas purchases. This card also earns triple points on groceries. If you spend $500 per month on gas and $1,000 per month on groceries, you would earn 5,500 points. That would be 66,000 points for the year on your gas and groceries alone. If you redeem for gift cards, that’s worth $660.

Best Credit Cards for Hotel Points

The Marriott Rewards Premier card is one of the best credit cards for points due to its huge sign-up bonus of 75,000 points and a free night annually at a category 1-5 property. You’ll also be able to raise your elite status to Silver within Marriott’s loyalty program.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% to 24.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$95
Rewards Program
Marriott Rewards®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 6x Points on Marriott® and SPG® Purchases
  • 2x Points on Dining, Airfare and Car Rentals
  • 2x Points on Gas
  • 2x Points on All Other Purchases
  • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • 1 free night award every year after your account anniversary, valid for a one night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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Having Silver status will give you more perks and can make your earning easier and your points more valuable. Since the merger between Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest hotels, they are now the world’s largest lodging company and also boast the strongest loyalty program within the industry.

A New Card From Hilton

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is a new release this year and is rivaling the competition with its sign-up bonus of 100,000 points. This card also earns 14 points per dollar at Hilton hotels, as well as seven points per dollar on flights when you book directly through an airline or amextravel.com.

Hilton Honors Aspire Card

INTRO APR on Purchases
N/A
INTRO apr on Balance Transfer
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% to 26.24% Variable±
Annual Fee
$450
Rewards Program
Hilton Honors™
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 14x Points on Hilton Purchases
  • 7x Points on Airfare, Car Rentals and Dining
  • 3x Points on All Other Purchases
  • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • One weekend night reward annually
  • Get an additional night every year you spend at least $60,000
  • Up to $250 in statement credits annually for purchases at Hilton Resorts
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
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This is one of the best credit cards for points not only because of the big bonus and ability to earn rewards, but also because of the incentives it offers. That includes a $250 credit for eligible purchases made at Hilton properties and another $250 credit for incidental airline fees, such as baggage charges.

This card also boosts you to Diamond status within the Hilton loyalty program. And you can earn a free weekend night each year upon account renewal.

What Are You Waiting For?

Now that you’ve read the list and perused the best credit cards for points, it’s time to get in the game. Start applying so you can start earning. That’s why you’re here, right?

I didn’t choose the cards above just for their big sign-bonuses, though those are important. They were also chosen for their flexibility when it comes to redemption options as well as other benefits that add overall value to the cards (like lounge access and travel credits).

What’s most important, though, is how you will use your credit card. Whether you use different cards for different purchases or you like to concentrate your spending one on card, my final bit of advice is to avoid paying interest at all costs. Carrying a balance and paying interest will quickly negate any value you might get from your rewards.